The Vietnamese government published a decree that regulates the citizens’ participation in legal casinos and gaming centres. Vietnamese citizens will no longer be prohibited from gambling. According to the launched pilot scheme, locals will be allowed to play in two properties – one on the Phu Quoc island and the other in the Quang Ninh province.
Analysts warn that casinos located in the countries neighbouring Vietnam are to be seriously affected by this decision:
“We would expect many to struggle to survive over the duration of the three-year Vietnam locals pilot program,” said Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen.
The decree will come into effect on March 15. The measure will allow Vietnamese citizens who are over 21 and have a monthly income of more than VND10 million ($443) to participate in selected casinos.
Although the pilot programme involves only two casinos, other casinos are not prohibited from joining it. However, they must be part of an entertainment and hotel complex project, have an investment capital of at least $2 billion and comply with a number of other requirements.
Currently, less than 10 casinos operate in Vietnam and are open to foreign passport-holders only. After three years the government will review the programme and determine whether the ban should be removed permanently. However, the government has retained the option to cancel the program at any time, if it finds it necessary.